Meditation has become a mainstream activity in many parts of the world. Though the main reason to meditate is for spiritual awareness, there are additional benefits from learning to focus our attention within. One of these is the healing it brings about in our physical bodies.
Over the past few decades, doctors and scientists have been studying the body-mind connection and its relationship to physical health. Medical research has indicated a link between certain illnesses and our state of mind and emotional condition. It has been found that when we undergo mental stress, emotional pain or depression, our physical resistance to disease drops. We become more susceptible to contracting a disease because our ability to keep our immune system in top working order decreases.
Science has pinpointed that certain diseases such as digestive problems, breathing problems, heart disease, and migraine, to name a few, may sometimes be caused due to stress.
Thus, we arrive at the possibility that by reducing stress in our lives, we can improve our physical health and well-being.
To begin to explore this possibility, it is imperative to understand the root cause of stress in our lives. In this hectic and fast-paced world, we are constantly being bombarded with information, and stimuli. Life has become increasingly complicated. With competing priorities, family and social obligations, increasing responsibilities, and looming deadlines, people seem to have too much to do and not enough time to do it. We hold jobs that require long hours and too much responsibility. Some work two jobs to support and raise a family. Trying to keep up with it all can leave us overwhelmed, frustrated, and agitated. Too much pressure often causes people to snap – we become irritable and offbalance. We begin to act in ways that are not ‘us’. We may even take out our frustrations on our loved ones and hurt those we love the most. All of this causes stress to build up in our lives.
Medical research has shown that meditation, the process of taking our attention away from the stress and strain of the outer world and focussing it within ourselves, can help reduce stress in our lives. In doing so, it can reduce our chances of developing stress related illness. How does meditation work to reduce stress?
When we meditate on the inner Light and Sound of God, we come in contact with God’s love within us, which fills us with inner peace, joy, bliss and happiness. This experience takes our attention away from the stress and pain of the outer world. As we spend time in meditation, we create a calm haven through which we restore equilibrium and peace to our mental functioning.
Researchers have recorded that brain activity in people who meditate reflects a state of deep relaxation. Their mind becomes calmer. The tranquil effect of meditation lasts beyond the time spent in meditation. The carry-over effect helps us maintain peace of mind as we continue our activities throughout the day.
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